Torii Hunter is Still a Vital Part of the Twins’ Success

Torii Hunter had a productive career in the MLB. In his early years, Hunter was known for his defensive abilities in centerfield. He played 19 seasons in the league for the Minnesota Twins, the Los Angeles Angels, and the Detroit Tigers.

He retired from the game of baseball in 2015, and after his retirement, he continues to be an essential part in the Twins’ organization.

Torii Hunter’s first stint with the Twins

The Twins drafted Hunter out of high school in the first round of the 199 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut with the Twins in 1997, only appearing in one game as a pinch-runner. Two years later, he began to see more playing time. During the 1999 season, he played in 135 games finishing with a batting average of .255.

He continued to improve his game each season, and in 2001 he was awarded his first Gold Glove as an outfielder. It would not be his last. Hunter’s speed in the outfield allowed him to track down balls that were hit in the gaps, that could have potentially been base hits. He was a fan favorite during his time in Minnesota.

He was so good as an outfielder that he received the Gold Glove Award nine straight times during his career. The five-time All-Star made his first All-Star appearance during the 2002 season with the twins. That season he finished batting .289 with 29 home runs, 23 stolen bases, and 94 RBIs.

Hunter made the All-Star team in his last season with the Twins in 2007. The 31-year-old continued to play at a high level and showcase his abilities.

Career with the Angels and Tigers

Hunter would spend five seasons with the Angels and two with the Tigers. He made the All-Star team twice with the Angels and once with the Tigers. He also won the Silver Slugger Award as a member of both teams. In 2009 he was named No. 44 on the Sporting News list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball.

As a member of the Tigers, he hit his 300th career home run against the Twins in July of 2013. That season he also attempted to make one of the greatest plays in baseball. During the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox, Hunter flipped over the bullpen in Fenway Park, trying to rob a David Ortiz game-tying grand slam. He ended up injuring himself after.

Return to Minnesota

Torii Hunter retired as a member of the Twins
Torii Hunter retired as a member of the Minnesota Twins. | Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

In December of 2014, Hunter agreed to a one-year deal with the Twins. A year later, he announced his retirement from baseball. Hunter wanted to retire as a Twin, and he was able to make it possible.

He finished his career playing 2,372 games and had a batting average of .277 with 1,296 runs, 353 home runs, and 195 stolen bases. Hunter finished having the seventh most Gold Gloves by an outfielder with a total of nine. In 2016, he became the 27th member to be inducted into the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame.

A part of the Twins organization after his playing career

Hunter wanted to be a part of the organization after his career was over. He joined the front office in November of 2016 as a special assistant with the baseball operations.

Some of his roles include scouting, being a part of the draft process, and spending time with the baseball team. He also has a heavy focus on organizational culture and major league environment.

Hunter helped lead the Twins to three consecutive AL Central division titles as a player, and now he’s using his knowledge and experience to help create a winning culture in Minnesota.